Rabbit Hunting Regulations

For rabbit hunters, it's crucial to be aware of the specific regulations in place. Here are the guidelines for rabbit hunting:

Season:

  • Cottontail Rabbit Season:
    • From Nov. 1 through Feb. 28.

Hunting Hours (February):

  • February Hunting Hours:
    • For FWAs and at Mississinewa, Patoka, and Salamonie lakes:
      • From one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour before sunset.

Equipment and Ammunition:

  • No Restrictions:

    • There are no equipment or ammunition restrictions for rabbit hunting.
  • Recommended Shotgun:

    • A 12- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with 6- to 7 1/2-size shot is recommended.

Prohibited Practices:

  • Removing Rabbits:

    • It is illegal to remove a rabbit from a hole, den, or tree hollow with the aid of a ferret, other small animals, or any other means.
  • Hunter Orange Requirements:

    • Hunter orange clothing requirements must be met while hunting rabbits (refer to General Information: Hunter Orange Requirements).

Protected Species:

  • Illegal to Hunt Swamp Rabbits:
    • It is illegal to hunt, take, or possess swamp rabbits, an endangered species in Indiana.

Dog Chasing:

  • Year-Round Chasing with a Dog:
    • Rabbits can be chased with a dog year-round with a hunting license.
  • Restrictions on DNR-managed Properties:
    • Certain restrictions apply on DNR-managed properties.

Adhering to these regulations ensures ethical and responsible rabbit hunting practices, contributing to the conservation of wildlife populations.

Squirrel Hunting Regulations

For those engaging in squirrel hunting, understanding the regulations is crucial. Here are the guidelines for squirrel hunting:

Season:

  • Gray and Fox Squirrel Season:
    • From Aug. 15 through Jan. 31.

Hunter Orange Requirements:

  • Nov. 1 through Jan. 31:
    • Hunter orange clothing requirements must be met while hunting squirrels during this period (refer to General Information: Hunter Orange Requirements).

Equipment and Ammunition:

  • No Restrictions:

    • There are no equipment or ammunition restrictions for squirrel hunting.
  • Recommended Firearms:

    • A 20-gauge or smaller shotgun loaded with 6- to 7 1/2-size shot or a .22-caliber rimfire rifle is recommended.

Prohibited Practices:

  • Illegal Trapping:

    • Trapping of squirrels is illegal.
  • Disturbing Nests and Dens:

    • Shooting into or disturbing leaf nests and squirrel dens is illegal at all times.

Protected Species:

  • Illegal to Hunt Flying Squirrels:
    • It is illegal to hunt flying squirrels, which are a protected species in Indiana. Possession requires a special permit.

Dog Chasing:

  • Year-Round Chasing with Dogs:

    • Gray and fox squirrels can be chased with dogs year-round with a hunting license.
  • DNR-managed Properties:

    • Certain restrictions apply on DNR-managed properties (refer to Public Hunting Areas).

License Requirements for Small Game, Game Birds, & Migratory Birds

Understanding the specific license requirements for hunting various animals is essential. Here's a breakdown of the licenses needed for different categories:

Small Game

  • Rabbit, Squirrel:

    • Required: Valid hunting license
  • Frog, Turtle:

    • Required: Valid hunting or fishing license

Game Birds

  • Pheasant, Quail:

    • Required: Valid hunting license and Game Bird Habitat Stamp
  • Crow:

    • Required: Valid hunting license
  • Wild Turkey:

    • Required: Turkey license and Game Bird Habitat Stamp

Migratory Birds

  • Waterfowl (Geese, Ducks, Coots, Mergansers, Teal):

    • Youth 15 and Younger:
      • Valid youth hunting license, HIP number
    • Youth 16-17:
      • Valid youth hunting license, HIP number, Federal Duck Stamp
    • Adults 18+:
      • Valid hunting license, HIP number, Federal Duck Stamp, State Waterfowl Stamp
  • Mourning Dove:

    • Required: Valid hunting license, HIP Number, and Game Bird Habitat Stamp
  • Woodcock, Sora, Snipe:

    • Required: Valid hunting license and HIP Number

Hunter orange is required for the entire season.

  • Nov. 1, 2022, through Jan. 31, 2023:

    • Required for Rabbit and Squirrel.
  • Dec. 3-18, 2022, and Dec. 26, 2022 - Jan. 1, 2023:

    • Required for Wild Turkey.

Reptile/Amphibian Regulations

Understanding the regulations surrounding reptiles and amphibians in Indiana is crucial for responsible collection. Here are the key guidelines:

Protected Species

  • All native reptiles and amphibians in Indiana are regulated.
  • Species on the state or federal endangered species list may not be taken at any time.
  • Eastern box turtles are protected and cannot be collected from the wild at any time.

Collection Limits

  • Daily Limit:

    • Two native nongame amphibians and reptiles per day for any one species.
  • Yearly Limit:

    • Four per year (April 1 through March 31 of the following year) for any one species.
  • Possession Limit:

    • Four per species.
  • Specific Turtle Regulations:

    • Eastern snapping, smooth softshell, and spiny softshell turtles can be taken only between July 1 and March 31 of the following year.
    • Minimum carapace length: 12 inches.

Licensing

  • A license is required to take reptiles or amphibians from the wild.
  • Indiana residents older than 17 must possess a valid hunting or fishing license for collection.
  • Nonresident adults and nonresident youth must possess a nonresident annual hunting license for collection.

Seasonal Considerations

  • License holders must adhere to season dates and bag limits.
  • Air rifles and firearms cannot be used at state parks.

Game Frog and Turtle Species

  • An individual with a valid hunting or fishing license may take game frog and game turtle species from authorized DNR properties.
  • Daily bag limit: 25 for game frog species, four for game turtle species.
  • Possession limit: Twice the daily bag limit.

Release Guidelines

  • Animals collected from the wild may not be sold.
  • Legally collected amphibians or reptiles held for fewer than 30 days may be released at their original capture site if they have never been housed with another animal.

Reptile/Amphibian Seasons & Limits

Understanding the seasons and limits for reptiles and amphibians in Indiana is vital for responsible harvesting. Here are the key details:

Game Turtles

  • Eastern Snapping Turtle:

    • Season: July 1 - March 31
    • Daily Bag Limit: 4*
    • Possession Limit: 8*
    • Restrictions: Turtle traps allowed with a minimum 12-inch carapace length.
  • Smooth Softshell Turtle:

    • Season: July 1 - March 31
    • Daily Bag Limit: *
    • Possession Limit: *
    • Restrictions: Turtle traps allowed with a minimum 12-inch carapace length.
  • Spiny Softshell Turtle:

    • Season: July 1 - March 31
    • Daily Bag Limit: *
    • Possession Limit: *
    • Restrictions: Turtle traps allowed with a minimum 12-inch carapace length.

Game Frogs

  • Green Frog & Bullfrog:
    • Season: June 15 - April 30
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25*
    • Possession Limit: 50*
    • Restrictions:
      • Harvest methods include gig, spear, long bow and arrow, club, hands alone, hand line, .22-caliber firearm with bird shot, or air rifle (min. .177 diameter, 500 fps).

Note: *Singly or in aggregate, which means the catch limit includes any combination of the species.

 

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.